The Case Against Toni-Jo Birk

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Case Against Toni-Jo Birk

It's a simple one.

First term Trustee Toni-Jo Birk was played by the two former law enforcement members of the Village Board, got in over her head with the Police Department, and is now being played by the rank'n'file.

Those who joined the force under then-Chief Teller or earlier, would dearly love to put the Department in the not-so-wayback machine to a time when "cooping" in Stillwaters or Snug Harbor¹ was commonplace, working second jobs… house-watching, livery service, contract­ing… while on duty was an acceptable shift practice, and most over-night tours were… if one didn't have a galpal's warm bed handy… spent watching TV and videos in the station house squad room.

("'Community policing' at its best," Mayor Teller said last year, and it was not ap­par­ent whether he was making a joke.)

Mrs. Birk is quite directly playing into their scheme, and even inadvertently acknowledges what her meddling has accomplished:

"As police liaison, enacted a schedule policy that continues the give our residents the service and protection they expect from our officers while allowing for officer well being."

We now have a much better idea of what that "officer well being" entails, and it doesn't ben­efit Village residents.

Whether she is a willing or unwitting abettor in the officers' scheme, is uncertain, but to some she's reminiscent of one of playwright Ten­nes­see Williams' aging dames whose head is turn­ed by the attentions of younger men.

In her usurpation of Chief Ray Dean's author­ity and experience, she has much for which to answer, and her little mantra of a year ago, "my only concern is to assure that the Village is being protected 24/7/365" is now revealed as nothing more than hollow political rhetoric.

Under Mrs. Birk's scheduling initiatives, the Village now has less police protection than it did 12 months ago, which fact seems not to bother the lady as long as the officers continue their fulsome attentions.

For all the "good work" for which Mrs. Birk has claimed credit with the toddler park… make no mistake, she has stepped on some toes there!… it is her micro-managing of the Police Department that is her greatest detriment to the Village.

Something to consider when casting a ballot tomorrow.


¹.- One former Village Police Officer reveals that houses on Dune Road was another favorite location to "coop."


1. Matlynn Carville said...

Ha! "Cooping," eh? Coo, coo. Ah, yesteryear. Will this election mean the birds are finally coming home to roost, or are there still too many wistful feathered nesters capable of flying to the polls? I think you've whittled it down to "a wing and a prayer," Dean. Bravo. May integrity trump manipulation. Wish you were running -- and I sincerely hope you will reconsider next year. Honesty from within IS the best policy.

2. Frank Wheeler said...

So, while you won't have Jimmy Kametler to kick around anymore, it seems that you're not all that thrilled with Toni-Jo Birk -- or am I misreading this?

Mr. Kametler's point about Mrs. Birk's "flip-flopping" is well-taken... from Mr. Kametler's vantage point. Some would call it "flexibility." I just wish she'd take her time and get it right the first time out.

Charles Dudley Warner was right, politics does indeed make strange bedfellows... and the shifting alliances on this Board over the past four-five years is almost Orwellian (cf: "Oceania," "Eurasia" and "Eastasia").
– Dean

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